Irene Margaret (nee Fick)
Aug. 21, 1914 – March 2, 2006
Irene was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. In 1917 the family moved to Lanigan, Saskatchewan where she grew up. She graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing in 1943. She then felt divinely called to serve the Lord Jesus Christ to become a missionary in Africa. After studying theology she then went to Europe to learn the French language. Irene arrived in Gabon, French Equatorial Africa in 1948. She was first welcomed to the main mission station in Bangolo, Gabon. After a short time she was carried by four Africans in a tipogo to a distant jungle area. Two days later she arrived at Ileson, her new home. Following a period of orientation, Irene studied the native language and with the help of a French-speaking native pastor, she began to establish a medical clinic. At the request of the French government, Irene took on the care of lepers in that area and before long, she helped teach in the established mission school. Here the natives learned to read and write their own language and to use the number system. They were also taught hygiene principles and the enjoyment of music. Shortly before Irene’s second furlough in 1958, she became very ill with a severe type of malaria. When her health improved, Irene returned to Canada to continue nursing. After taking post-graduate studies in obstetrics she supervised a maternity ward and taught students. Later she studiÂed hospital administration and remained in that field until her retirement in 1979. In 1980 she married Wally Driemel and they made their home in Abbotsford, BC. There Irene did volunteer work with the Red Cross and programs helping seniors. Since 2002 she has been a resident of Bevan Lodge.
Irene passed away peacefully on March 2, 2006. She was preÂdeceased by her husband and two brothers. Irene leaves behind one brother, five step-children, nieces, nephews and grandÂchildren. At her request, a private family memorial will be held Friday, March 10, 2006.
Irene’s beautiful smile will be missed by so many.
Henderson’s Funeral Home